Daily Management Review

Argentina Defaults On Debt, Negotiations With Creditors For Debt Restructuring Ongoing


Argentina Defaults On Debt, Negotiations With Creditors For Debt Restructuring Ongoing
Crisis hit South American economy of Argentina defaulted on payments on about $500 million of bonds coupons on Friday, whose payments had already been delayed. According to reports from creditors and a ratings agency, this is the ninth sovereign debt default by the country.
The country has been holding talks with its creditors over restructuring around $65 billion in foreign debt and a breakthrough could be reached "in a matter of days", reports said on Friday quoting Argentine government sources.
"There has been notable progress and a comprehensive deal is certainly possible in a matter of days, not months," said reports quoting the government source that was not named.
The talks with the bondholders and the grain producer of South America are at a critical stage and success of the negotiations could help the country to prevent a troubling sovereign debt default situation that it had encountered in 2001. Back then, the default resulted in the country being blocked access to the international bond market for 15 years which resulted in millions of middle-class Argentines being pushed into poverty.
"The negotiations continue on a course that we consider positive, with increasing mutual understanding. There is still an important distance to cover, but, more importantly, all sides remain at the table to find a solution," the Economy Ministry of the country said in a statement.
Even before the novel coronavirus pandemic had hit the global and the Argentine economy hard, the country had already entered into a recession and the pandemic just worsened the situation for the country. Argentina now has pushed the deadline for a deal to June 2 even as signals emerged that the two sides may be getting closer to a deal.
"The language in the sovereign's press statement was notably softer than previously, which we have noted with appreciation," reported quoted a source at one of the investment firms involved in the talks as saying.
"However, the ball is in their court and we are still waiting to see a meaningful level of engagement on the remaining issues outstanding. I think a deal is possible in days but I am not betting on it," said the investor, who asked not to be named, claimed reports.
The willingness of the Argentine government to work with bondholders was acknowledged early on Friday by a group representing BlackRock, Ashmore and other investors.  They however said that "over the last month, Argentina has had virtually no substantive engagement with its creditors."